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Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service preparing for bariatric rescues

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At Ruth Lee Ltd, we have been manufacturing bariatric manikins for more than 10 years after an initial request from an Ambulance Service in the UK. Now we have a full bariatric range with manikins weighing in at 90, 180 and 260Kgs, plus a Water-Fillable Bariatric Suit which lets the user convert an adult Ruth Lee manikin into a bariatric manikin using water.

With 3 in 100 adults now classed as morbidly obese in the UK (weighing more than 26 stone or more), the Fire and Recue Service may realistically face the challenge to safely extricate a very heavy casualty in almost any scenario. Training for a variety of situations is therefore key to making sure that in a real emergency, teams are prepared to carry out an extrication quickly, whilst maintaining the patient’s, and their own safety.


Recently, we spoke to Guy Tadman, Watch Manager at Trowbridge Fire Station, (part of Dorest & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service) about the increase in bariatric rescues.

“Bariatric Rescue is a line of work that is becoming more and more frequent in the Fire and Rescue Sector. Our Service is no different.

To help Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service work more effectively and efficiently with Bariatric Patients, our Service purchased a number of Bariatric dummies from Ruth Lee.

This meant that we could set up realistic training scenarios and put into practise some of the manual handling techniques, operational procedures and practical considerations for being dignified and caring when dealing with people of this size.”



Guy went on to explain a scenario they set up recently. The photos on this page show a crew’s debriefing following the removal of a bariatric patient from the cab of a lorry.

Here, crews used an “A frame” and pulley system to carefully remove the patient in a safe and controlled manner – bariatric manikins are perfect for this kind of training, as Guy continued…

“Manikins are useful for a number of reasons. Time, convenience, repetition – plus we can teach movement techniques with dignity. Not only that, we can make mistakes and learn in an inconsequential environment.”



You can follow Trowbridge Fire Station on Twitter @Trow_Fire_Stn or visit the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service website www.dwfire.org.uk

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